Published by Claudia Giunta.
Losing weight often tops the list of many people’s New Year’s resolutions. While the journey to a healthier weight is personal to everyone, incorporating effective and realistic practices makes a significant difference. We’re here to help you understand how to approach healthy weight loss and management and provide tips and tricks on staying consistent.
A secret to achieving a healthy weight is reframing our minds away from dieting and towards eating for a healthy lifestyle. For many of us, “diet” means a temporary period of deprivation from the foods we enjoy. The popular short-term diet promises quick weight loss while eating everything you love, but it often leads to malnutrition and can be challenging to live with long-term.
When you approach weight loss with the understanding that its long-term effects improve your whole-body health, you’ll want to start enjoying life as a healthier version of yourself. If losing weight is one of your New Year’s resolutions (or a goal at any time of the year), read on for practical tips to help you reach your weight loss goal and make your resolution a long-term success.
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To lose weight healthily, you’ll want to implement SMART goal setting. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Time-Driven. SMART goals help with weight loss because they help you focus on the big picture. Instead of viewing your weight loss journey as a diet, you’ll shift your mindset to making long-term lifestyle changes. You can break down your SMART long-term goals into smaller, short-term goals. The following are a few examples:
SMART goals help you set attainable benchmarks that lead to your development and success. Outside of being specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timely, these goals should also suit your own needs and expectations.
To help you build SMART goals to help you lose weight, read on for seven tips during your weight loss journey.
People who want to lose weight often want to lose it fast and turn to fad diets that may do more harm than good. These highly restrictive diets can lead to rapid weight loss but often don’t include a good plan to keep it off consistently. Eating fewer than 1,000 calories a day drops pounds initially, but it will plateau quite quickly and when you return to your normal eating habits, your metabolism will have slowed and the weight will slowly come back. Additionally, these extreme diets can cause fatigue, constant hunger, dizziness, irritability, and frequent headaches.
Instead of rushing into a diet that promises quick results, start with one small change to build healthy eating and exercise habits. For example, you could cut out fried food, avoid takeout, or implement a daily salad into your diet. You could focus on incorporating greens into each meal you eat, focus on eating more fruits and vegetables, or go for a quick walk around the neighborhood after dinner. These small goals help build long-term lifestyle habits that benefit your whole body health. It’s important to realize that healthy weight loss takes time. Losing weight too quickly or depriving your body of nutrients can actually lead to weight regain.
Chances are the last time you went out to eat the size of your meal was easily close to double what you plate at home. Watch your portions and avoid eating more than the suggested serving size. Serving sizes for pasta, rice, and other packaged foods are often smaller than you’d guess. You may be surprised by measuring out a suggested serving and realizing you often eat more than one serving at each meal. Check the nutrition facts label for nutritional value and serving sizes and consider splitting a meal when you dine out with a friend.
Did you know it takes your body about 20 minutes to register to the brain that it feels full? When you eat quickly you tend to eat more and overeat. While you may feel full, you’ll also feel sluggish, and fatigued, and may experience bloating and abdominal discomfort. Eating mindfully and pausing between bites will not only reduce your risk of overeating, but you’ll find you enjoy the taste and experience of your meal even more. Scrolling on our phones or watching T.V. distracts us and influences us to eat more. Eating with others and engaging in conversation helps create natural breaks that slow you down.
A restaurant-size serving of pasta or a family-sized chicken parm is far more than most people need to eat. When building your plate at home, opt for a larger plate for your healthy choices and a smaller plate when eating less healthy foods. This helps trick the brain into feeling satisfied with less.
To build a balanced plate, the US Department of Agriculture recommends that half of your plate consists of fruits and vegetables, a quarter of it with lean protein, and a quarter of your plate with whole grains. Aim for color and variety to get the most nutrients out of your meal, opt for whole-grain carbs, and focus on power proteins that help fuel your body.
Whether you’re in a rush and need to grab a quick meal out or are attending a birthday dinner celebration, try to be health conscious of servings, nutritional value, and what foods you need to feel full, energized, and satisfied. Read the nutritional value if the restaurant’s menu offers it, build your own sandwich or salad but avoid the calorie-laden condiments, or choose a grilled option over fried. Splitting a meal with a friend is also a great way to watch your portion control.
If you do indulge when you dine out during your weight loss journey, remember not to be too hard on yourself. One meal won’t ruin your progress, and a treat here and there to satisfy your cravings is allowed!
It’s no shocker that drinking more water helps with weight loss. Drinking a cup of water before meals also helps you feel more full and prevents overeating. People often mistake thirst for hunger and opt for a snack when they really need water intake. To increase your water intake, keep a reusable water bottle with you or add lemon to add more flavor.
Healthy eating combined with regular exercise can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that people who have lost weight and kept it off have increased their level of physical activity. Find natural ways to add in exercise such as walking to the mailbox, riding your bike to the grocery store, or walking to dinner. Find something that you like and mark it on your calendar so you don’t make excuses about not having the time. It’s better to do moderate and consistent exercise every day than none at all.
Weight loss journeys require patience, dedication, and time. Ultimately, the best “diet” to follow includes one that you can realistically stick to, is sustainable long-term, isn’t overly restrictive, and includes a calorie deficit.
With all of the various diets out there, it can be confusing to decipher which is right to support your health and weight loss goals. Every individual is unique in how we are made, what type of lifestyle we live, and how our bodies work. In addition to our diets. Weight can be affected by stress levels, sleep patterns, activity levels, and mood. Let Nova Vita help you identify the best plan for your weight loss journey through a personalized treatment plan specific to you. Book an appointment online today.